I’m sorry my posts have been few and far between lately. My course load this semester is a quite a bit heavier than I expected (although my pay isn’t…of course), and it’s taking up a lot more time than I anticipated. I hope to add a few more posts during the week as I get settled into a routine. I hope 😉
Luckily, I’ve been able to keep my Sundays free for cooking and recipe development, and Sunday I came up with a delicious treat: Coconut Lemon Bars. If you like coconut and lemon, these bars are for you. Even if you’re on the fence about coconut (or, as Mr. M mockingly says, you don’t seek out the coconut), you’ll probably like these rich, little treats. They were a HUGE hit at work. I need to make them again just so everyone who wanted to can try them – and so the people who got to try them can have some more. Yup. They’re that good.
3/4 c almonds*
1/4 c sunflower seeds
1/2 c dates
1/2 c prunes
2 TBSP coconut butter**
Blend/food process nuts, seeds, and dates until they form a sticky crumble. Press the mixture into a small pan, or make mini bites by pressing the mix into mini-muffin tins or silicone molds. You can also form the bars into the shape of your choice on parchment or wax paper (Valentine hearts?!).
1/2 c coconut butter**
2 TBSP maple syrup (or liquid sweetener of your choice)
Juice & Zest of one organic lemon (about 2 TBSP juice & 1 TBSP zest)
Water as needed by the tsp
Blend all ingredients into a thick, frosting like consistency. If your mixture is too thick, add water by the teaspoon-full until desired consistency is achieved. Spread over bar base and freeze or refrigerate bars until coconut topping is firm/solid. Cut into bite sized pieces. (Mine made 20 one inch by one square bites.)
*Try replacing the almonds with pumpkin seeds (pepitas). I meant to try this myself, but forgot. Oops! It’s my plan for the next batch 😉
**Make your own coconut butter! Add two bags of unsweetened, desiccated coconut flakes (or shreds) to a food processor and run on high until a thick, creamy butter forms. Depending upon the power of your processor, it should take about 8-10 minutes. My old, wimpy food processor took about 10 minutes, and my new, heavy-duty one takes about 8. Store your super cheap (less than $2.50 from my local Kroger) coconut butter in a glass container and keep it in a cool, dry place. DO NOT put it in the refrigerator. I did that, and it turned into a coconut rock. But…it returned to its soft, buttery state after a few minutes in a warm water bath. So, if someone accidentally refrigerates your coconut butter, just warm it up, and you’ll be good to go.
I’d love to know how these bars turn out for you if you try them. I was shocked by how many of my coworkers liked them. I guess people occasionally like something other than chocolate for dessert. Who knew?!
I’m sharing this recipe with the awesome readers of Wellness Weekends at Diet Dessert and Dogs, Allergy Friendly Friday at Cybele Pascal’s Allergen Free Cuisine, and submitting it to the Valentine’s Day Bake-Off at Forks and Beans.